706 N. Alvarado Street

Construction is underway for a 34-unit apartment building over a parking garage. Four of the units will be reserved for very low income tenants.

City Councilman David Ryu today introduced a measure to raise the required percentage of affordable housing units constructed near public transportation.

Ryu's motion requests that the city's Planning Department revise the guidelines for Transit Oriented Community developments by requiring higher percentages of affordable housing in high- and mid-market areas.

"The TOC program has been successful in bringing more density near transit and addressing an immediate need for more housing, but there are areas where it has failed," said Ryu, whose Council District 4 includes Los Feliz and a portion of Silver Lake. "When 28 units of rent-stabilized housing are destroyed to make way for a project with only 20 units of affordable housing, that is not a success, that is displacement."

Ryu said high-market areas like Greater Wilshire and Hollywood have been a boon for TOC developers, but not enough affordable units for low-income residents are being built in those areas.

The TOC program, created in 2017 with the passage of Measure JJJ, allows developers to build denser, taller housing near public transportation if a portion of the new units are made affordable.

The current guidelines require 8% to 25% of units be set aside for affordable housing, depending on how affordable the units are and the project's proximity to public transportation.

Ryu's proposal seeks to raise that requirement in high-market areas, where real estate is more lucrative for developers and market-rate rent is more out of reach for working Angelenos.

That sort of tiered system would be similar to the city's linkage free developers are required to pay depending on the area.

Ryu said Los Angeles "must do more to break down income disparities up to and including a citywide inclusionary zoning ordinance, but that in the meantime, reform to the TOC program would be a strong first step."

The motion will first be heard by the City Council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee on a date to be determined.

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